The conference in Region VI was held on November 26, 2014 in Iloilo City and focused on the processed meat and processed shrimp industries.
DTI Secretary Gregory Domingo opened the conference and delivered the keynote address. DTI Region VI Director Wilhelm Malones welcomed the participants, while NEDA Region VI Director Ro-Ann Bacal presented on the potentials and challenges in the region.
In his keynote address, DTI Secretary Gregory Domingo highlighted the Philippine economy’s strong performance in recent years, particularly the country’s competitiveness which has been improving by the day: in terms of wage inflation rate, sectoral performance (with industry and manufacturing as one of the best-performing sectors in the economy), and growing foreign investor confidence.
In order to sustain its growth, Sec. Domingo emphasized the importance for all stakeholders to work on a unified vision for economic development. For its part, he said that the Philippine government is carrying out policies and programs to support the economy’s growth. These include the implementation of the K+12 program, continuing investment in public infrastructure through the PPP program, the DTI’s Industry Roadmapping Project and Manufacturing Resurgence Program, the Shared Service Facilities (SSF) program, SME Roving Academy, and setting up of Negosyo Centers throughout the country.
DTI Assistant Secretary Rafaelita Aldaba discussed the country’s new industrial policy, while USAID TRADE Chief of Party Dr. Cielito Habito talked about the AEC and the Philippine economy. Other speakers included PIDS Senior Fellow Dr. Roehlano Briones, BOI sectoral champion for processed food products Francis Penaflor, and UA&P Center for Food And Agribusiness Specialist Marie Annette Dacul. DTI Assistant Secretary Blesila Lantayona delivered the closing remarks.
The key points of the conference are as follows:
- The Philippine economy has been gradually prepared for AEC since 2008. The 87% compliance rate of the Philippines on its ASEAN commitments shows that the country’s participation in AEC is neither rushed nor premature – the country is already participating in it. The AEC promises the sharing of technology, higher productivity, and stronger interdependence for ASEAN nations. While there are remaining institutional reforms to be done, businesses should also change their mindset, be pro-active and look for the ‘gold mines’ that AEC promises.
- To attain inclusive growth, address challenges and take advantage of the opportunities from AEC and globalization in general, competitiveness is crucial. To transform and upgrade our industries and improve our competitiveness, we need to implement an industrial policy that will guide all stakeholders – from government, domestic industries, foreign investors, and academe, to other development partners. The new industrial policy is focused on a more pro-active government that acts as facilitator and coordinator in addressing most binding constraints. The new industrial policy also calls for the clustering of industries and allied industries, industry upgrading through growth-oriented action, and the deepening of Philippine participation in global and regional production networks. While challenges in implementation are very much prevalent, the private sector must participate in these efforts for structural transformation through the formulation of their regional roadmaps that will formulate the future goals and vision of the industry taking into consideration the strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities in the sector. The roadmapping process does not only contribute to the formulation of the Comprehensive National Industrial Strategy, but more importantly, facilitates coordination among industry players and key stakeholders in a particular sector.
- Region VI must steadily shift its agricultural economy into a competitive, efficient, and sustainable agribusiness economy. The key objective to increase agricultural productivity is to shift one’s perspective from subsistence-driven to business-oriented farming. This shift in perspective is manifested once agriculture enterprises are integrated in agro-industrial supply chains, as well as engage in product diversification and niche development. In this sense, roadmaps are useful tools to establish coordination mechanisms, identify vertical and horizontal constraints, and strategize on which products can be prioritized for diversification and further development. Region VI has proposed the crafting of roadmaps on the following sectors: Bamboo, Corn, Native chicken, Coconut, Cashew, Mushrooms, Abaca, Rice, Mango, Sugarcane, Aquaculture and Swine.
Download the presentations:
- The Philippine New Industrial Policy for More Competitive Regional Economies – Rafaelita Aldaba, 26 November 2014, Iloilo
- The ASEAN Economic Community and the Philippine Economy – Gearing Up Philippine Business – Cielito Habito, 26 November 2014, Iloilo
- A roadmap for agro-industrial development in the Philippines – Roehlano Briones, 26 November 2014, Iloilo